Possible GOP presidential contender visits Chicago

February 4, 2011

Emily Wilensky

(Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Possible Republican presidential contender Tim Pawlenty signs copies of his new book.

Some potential Republican Presidential hopefuls are commemorating President Reagan's 100th birthday by heading to Illinois. Reagan was born in Tampico, Ill and spent most of his childhood in Dixon, Ill. One of those Republicans is Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota. He took a break from touring for his new book, “Courage to Stand” to give a campaign-like address to the City Club of Chicago.

Despite being on President Obama’s home turf, Pawlenty said he's not intimidated by Chicago or the rest of the predominantly Democratic state.
 
“This is a hugely important city in a hugely important state,” he said. “And if you want to get a pulse on what’s going on in the country you gotta see the whole country and that includes Chicago and certainly includes Illinois.”
 
Pawlenty discussed the challenges he faced as a Republican governor in a historically blue state. He also focused his speech on the need to reduce government spending, reform health care and simplify the tax code, which he called a “ridiculous, awful system.”  He said he will make a decision in the next few months on whether he will enter the 2012 presidential race. Meanwhile former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich is also in Illinois today. He is promoting his new book and documentary about Ronald Reagan.